Archive for H1N1

Fight the flu – get an education

Posted in Life with tags , , on 15 November 2009 by Steve

USA“American researchers have come up with a new, and rather compelling, reason to get an education – it can protect you from illnesses such as swine flu. A University of Michigan study has found that people who did not earn a high school diploma are not only more likely to get illnesses but may also find vaccines less effective compared with those who did graduate with a diploma …” (more)

[University World News, 15 November]


Counting Faculty and Staff Absences

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 26 September 2009 by Steve

USA“Efforts to track H1N1 on college campuses this fall have focused almost exclusively on students, but the University of New Mexico has introduced Absence Tracking, a daily survey to keep tabs on the numbers of faculty and staff who call in sick. Thursday was the first day that an already-appointed ‘time keeper’ — the person who monitors absences for payroll purposes — in each university department was required to submit by noon each weekday an estimated total of illness-related absences, whether the employee was sick with H1N1, the seasonal flu or another illness, or was out to take care of a sick family member …” (more)

[Jennifer Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, 25 September]

Modules condensed to accommodate Swine Flu

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 16 September 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Lecturers have been asked to condense the 12-week lecture term into ten lectures, to allow for an average two-week absence due to Swine Flu. The proposal is one of several measures implemented by the newly appointed Swine Flu Committee. Students’ Union Education Officer, Donnacha Ó Súilleabháin, told The University Observer that although ‘the same amount of material will be in [each] module, and the structure will be altered to allow self-directed learnin’ …” (more)

[Bridget Fitzsimons, University Observer, 15 September]

Swine flu student vaccinations

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 25 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Madam, – Having identified the young and teenage groups as the most vulnerable to the disease, would it not make sense to postpone the re-opening of primary, secondary and third level educational facilities until all of those in these groups have been vaccinated …” (more)

[Eamonn CJ McDwyer, Irish Times, 25 August]

Wondering about H1N1

Posted in Life with tags , , on 22 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… DCU has, like other universities and organisations, developed an action plan that will allow us to take swift measures as needed should H1N1 affect a significant number of people, and having such plans is an appropriate response. A major part of any plan must be to encourage people to take obvious and easy precautions, chief of which is the encouragement of basic hygiene rules: wash your hands regularly, particularly before and after significant gatherings or visits, and don’t cough or sneeze into the air. Otherwise, get on with your life, and don’t get too worried.” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 22 August]

Common Sense and Scenarios on H1N1

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 21 August 2009 by Steve

USA“The US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services on Thursday released their most detailed guidance yet on how colleges should prevent H1N1 outbreaks and what options should be considered if they take place despite such efforts. Given that the severity and size of outbreaks could vary widely, the guidance is more of a menu of options than a rulebook – and the ideas cover everything from washing doorknobs to ending the requirements that students submit medical notes for absences to when to consider suspending operations …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 21 August]

Swine flu response teams prepare for college outbreak

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 13 August 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Special flu pandemic response teams are in place across the third-level sector to deal with swine flu as up to 200,000 students and staff prepare to return to college. The Higher Education Authority (HEA), which earlier this year issued guidelines on dealing with the virus to the 40 HEA institutions across the country, said colleges had contingency plans in place to deal with an outbreak …” (more)

[Fergus Black, Independent, 13 August]

Students quarantined with suspected swine flu

Posted in Life with tags , , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Seven language students were in quarantine at a Dublin university with suspected swine flu tonight as health chiefs confirmed 19 people have been taken to hospital. The teenagers, who were attending English language classes at University College Dublin, are remaining in on-campus residences …” (more)

[, 30 July]

Universities prepare for swine flu worst as nurseries take away soft toys

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 29 July 2009 by Steve

UK“Universities have started to stockpile disposable rubber gloves and soap powder in case there are multiple outbreaks of swine flu on campuses this September, it emerged yesterday. The news came as the government advised nurseries to remove soft toys and discourage children from sharing crayons and musical instruments to stop the spread of the virus. University managers met yesterday to plan for the worst-case scenario of hundreds of students and staff off sick with the H1N1 virus at the start of the new term …” (more)

[Jessica Shepherd, Guardian, 29 July]

Fears grow over new swine flu outbreak at campus

Posted in Life with tags , , on 28 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Fears are growing that swine flu could be spreading at Ireland’s biggest university. University College Dublin (UCD) last night confirmed a small number of foreign students are feared to have contracted the virus in recent weeks. It follows the confirmation last week that a student union official from Co Waterford had contracted swine flu. A spokesperson confirmed up to three others from the UCD community of staff have also reported symptoms of the flu …” (more)

[Eilish O’Regan, Independent, 28 July]

Queen’s in web lessons plan over swine flu

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 24 July 2009 by Steve

UK“Queen’s University is considering making some work available online and spacing exam desks further apart in a bid to tackle the potential spread of swine flu among students. The Belfast university is one of many campuses across the UK making contingency plans in the wake of rising cases of the virus. University campuses could be partly shut down, freshers week events postponed and students quarantined if swine flu escalates in the autumn …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 24 July]

Swine flu likely to hit 15% of staff, HSE warns employers

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 23 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… A case of H1N1 has been confirmed on-campus at University College Dublin, Belfield, a UCD spokeswoman said yesterday. It is understood the sick person is a foreign language student studying at the Belfield campus. All staff at UCD were yesterday sent an e-mail to inform them of symptoms, prevention and the university’s plan to deal with the H1N1 virus. A sabbatical officer at the Students Union has also caught the virus …” (more)

[Genevieve Carbery, Irish Times, 23 July]

Colleges have no specific flu plans

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 23 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“NUIG and GMIT have not drawn up specific action plans to deal with the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, the Galway Independent has learned. However, both GMIT and NUIG said they would be following all guidelines issued by the HSE. A spokesperson for NUIG said, ‘We are currently ensuring a system is in place according to the National Pandemic Influenza Plan from the Department of Health. This also means following all protocols laid down by the Department which are updated on a daily basis’ …” (more)

[Galway Independent, 22 July]

Swine flu suspected at student conference

Posted in Life with tags , , , on 21 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Four students from University College Cork (UCC) have developed symptoms of swine flu after attending a student union conference in Waterford. The students contacted the out-of-hours GP service in Cork after returning from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) conference at the weekend. Dr Michael Byrne, head of student health services at UCC, said the students gave a history of having contracted the influenza A (H1N1) virus at the gathering but this had not yet been laboratory confirmed …” (more)

[Eithne Donnellan and Dan Keenan, Irish Times, 21 July]

12 SU officials across Ireland suspected of contracting Swine Flu

Posted in Life with tags , , on 21 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Approximately twelve Students’ Unions sabbatical officers across the country are suspected of contracting Swine Flu, a Student Leader has said. It is believed that the third level students may have contracted the virus during the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) UOS training which was held in Waterford last week. One of the student leaders had contact with an individual suffering from H1N1 …” (more)

[Tallyman, 20 July]

Colleges poised to deal with mass swine flu deaths when term starts

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 19 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Universities are drawing up contingency plans to deal with a ‘worst-case’ scenario of significant swine flu deaths among their student population and the possible closure of their campuses as a result of an epidemic. While Ireland’s third-level institutions are preparing detailed scenarios, the Department of Education has confirmed that no extra money has been allocated to primary or secondary schools to prepare for a swine flu outbreak. Colleges, such as Trinity College Dublin (TCD), are preparing to close their doors to the public as early as September in order to limit the spread of the H1N1 virus …” (more)

[John Downes, Sunday Tribune, 19 July]

Blogmeister’s comment: Distance learning technologies are now starting to look awfully attractive, even for students who are quite willing to appear in person. Say what you like against podcasts or web-based learning, no-one ever caught the flu from them. Whereas the average lecture hall might almost have been designed to encourage the sharing of infections …